16 September 2009

16 September 2009

One year on, we are still governed by the same federal government. Where's all the talk of forming a new federal government? Maybe it's just a case of empty vessels make the most noise. (Check out the meaning of this proverb here). My guess is he's just too busy with other more pressing matter.

Anyway, happy Malaysia day, Malaysians.

Malaysia Oh Malaysia

One of the things I really feel bad and unhappy about is that when I get to Peninsular Malaysia and people I meet (usually for work) asks, "Bila sampai kat Malaysia?" or "When (did you) arrive in Malaysia?" It makes me feel like I am from another country altogether.

This happened when I went on to study for my whole secondary and part of my tertiary education in Peninsular Malaysia and then went on to work in Sarawak and here in Sabah. It still happens today. The sad thing is that the very people who asked me are generally educated fellow Malaysians, who I believe should have better general knowledge, if not historical knowledge, than your average Malaysians.

For the record, 46 years ago today, a country by name of Malaysia came into being by the federation of British North Borneo (as Sabah was known then), Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore. If this didn't happen, there wouldn't be Malaysia as we know it today.

There's an interesting report by the Malay Mail about Hari Malaysia. Check it out.

09 September 2009


What a nice date! To commemorate it, let me tell you nine things about me that you probably don’t know (unless you’re my best friend or something). Here goes:
  • One is the only distinction I got for my last examination in secondary school. Anyway, I impressed the panel of a scholarship interview because it was conducted in English. One remarked (loudly, because I heard it), “He can speak English.”
  • Two is the number of girls I’ve fallen head over heels over. Too bad, we didn’t work out.
  • Three is the number of cars I had over the years. All cute small cars.
  • Four is the number of years I took to complete my bachelor’s degree after finishing my school. That meant I got at 21 years old.
  • Five is the number of close friends I have since leaving secondary school (you know who you are). One friends even had a name for our group – NTL.
  • Six inches above five feet is my height. I’m short but still managed to be a starter on my school’s basketball team.
  • Seven years is the length of time I spent living out of the country.
  • Eight is the number of siblings in my family, five boys and three girls. Sadly, two are no longer with us today.
  • Nine months is the time I took to complete my master’s degree.

Today’s post was brought to you by the number Nine and letter Jae.

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04 September 2009

Don’t Blame the Indonesian People, Blame Some of the Indonesian Media

I know I’ve written not so nice things before on the current Indonesia-Malaysia row. I don’t blame the Indonesian people for this. The parties to be blame for sensationalizing the issues are some of the Indonesian media, who I consider as overzealous. Worse still as members of media, they failed to check the authenticity and veracity of the news, print or broadcast. I thought that would be taught in Journalism 101.

As an example, the latest row is about the song Terang Bulan. If the journalist had bothered to google or do some Internet search, he/she would have read that the song was composed by a Frenchman in the late 19th century and in early 20th was adapted as its national by the state of Perak, a state in Malaysia today. This was a long time before it was recorded by Indonesia artists and adapted as the national anthem of Malaysia. Go ahead look it up yourself.

Well, I guess these kinds will write and air anything to sell their newspapers and make more watch their television programs. The kind of reporting they are practicing is sickening and must be stopped. There is no need to make a wedge between us as there are so many things where Indonesians and Malaysians can co-operate for the betterment of the two countries. Like it or not, we are stuck as neighbors until kingdom come.
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01 September 2009

Poverty in Malaysia : The Answer (?)

Someone wrote to me about the post on poverty I did earlier.

Well, I don't have all the answers but I believe the key in solving the problem of poverty lies in education. If you educate the children of the poor well, these children then can help their families. Hopefully, the cycle of poverty will stop.

But when I mean education, its not just sending them to the nearest school. If you are a poor child and have to help in the family to get food on the table, which would you choose? Going to school or going without food?

What is needed is a comprehensive program where the children of the poor are given all, yes ALL, that they need to get educated well. Put them in hostels during primary and secondary schools. Provide them food, clothes, books and some pocket money. Give them a break for entry to institutions of higher learning. As long as they meet the minimum entry requirement, let them in. Give them scholarships to study. I know its cliché but remember the saying about teaching a man to fish? Here, we are teaching the poor children to fish. Where there is a will, there is a way.

I know that studies after studies have been done to study poverty in the country. But, even now, where are we? Back at square one. Why are there still poor people in our country?
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